Perhaps the most important meeting of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee HERE will take place in Washington on Friday, November 21 from 9am - 4pm. Six of its 18 members HERE represent the community. You can attend in person or listen live on 888-455-2920 (access code 3857872) and watch the powerpoint slides via a webinar (registration required HERE).
Location and registration information information can be found HERE. The morning session will be devoted to a discussion of the strategic plan for autism research required by the Combating Autism Act, basically the plan for how to spend about $645 million over the next three-five years. Public input was requested last January, summaries can be read HERE.
Further comment was requested on the draft plan can be found here HERE. The plan HERE lists 35 research initiatives but is terribly deficient in treatment and cause research, and in setting forth top-level doctrine to guide the research, e.g. that ASD demands a crisis-level response to an epidemic-driven national health emergency. Eleven national research organizations in the community sent a letter last week HERE insisting on improvements. The latest draft includes some of these suggestions plus alternatives to be discussed at the meeting. Safeminds submitted further text amendments earlier this week. The afternoon session will include a briefing on services and supports. This is an extremely important meeting, with your tax dollars at the future of vital research at stake.